Monday, February 19 , 2018, 10:21 pm | Fair 46º


Local News

Surprising Guilty Plea Entered in Teen’s Slaying

A day after withdrawing one guilty plea, Cody Lane Miller agrees to longer prison term

A day after he withdrew his guilty plea in the Dystiny Myers murder case, Cody Lane Miller entered another one Tuesday — this time for a longer prison term.

In a second day of surprise developments in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, Miller pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced moments later to life without the possibility of parole in connection with the slaying of the 15-year-old Santa Maria teen.

Afterward, his attorney said Miller felt his previous plea deal — a guilty plea in exchange for a term of 39 years and four months to life in prison — was too easy.

“He believes that he does not deserve forgiveness,” said his attorney, Gael Mueller.

Miller and four others were charged in the Sept. 26, 2010, killing of Myers.

The plea occurred during a break in the trial of Rhonda Maye Wisto and her son, Frank Jacob York, who are on trial for Myers’ murder.

After Miller entered his plea, Myers’ mother and grandmother were allowed to make statements. Reading from a Bible scripture, Aileen Myers, the victim’s mother, said she does not forgive Miller.

“I hope you rot in hell,” she said.

Speaking to the family, Miller said he understood.

“I really am sorry,” he said as Aileen Myers stared at him, shaking her head.

Mueller said Miller would never have been involved were it not for his meth use.

“He is basically a very religious person, and the drugs took him away from that,” she said.

Miller will not testify in the Wisto and York trial. After getting attacked by some of the other defendants on the night of the murder, Mueller said, Miller suffered a serious concussion that impacted his memory of that night.

“What he remembers is he did some awful, awful thing.”

— Patrick S. Pemberton is a reporter for the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >